I am unsure if this is the solution you are looking for.
When I want to save a new hair or clothing item (I haven't tried with beards yet), I put it on the character, then go to the appropriate custom tab in Character Creator and hit the + button at the bottom and my item image appears. If I don't like the image, I can center it better or zoom in and save the item again over the first one but with a better picture. To use it again later, it works just like adding any other item to your character.
Also I have noticed that the hair is in a different place in CC3 than it was in CC2.